Connect with us


Phuket Business: Krabi shaping up as an oil hub



PHUKET: Agricultural development initiatives look to position Krabi province as a new regional and world hub for the production, supply and retail of palm oil.

When the Asean Free Trade Agreement (AFTA) comes into full effect by 2015, traders and merchants from Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar and Laos will enjoy tariff-free trading of most Asean-produced goods and commodities, including rubber and palm oil.

By far, the world’s leading palm oil producers last year were Indonesia (25.4 million tons) and Malaysia (18.7mn tons), followed by Thailand (1.4mn tons), Colombia (0.88mn tons) and Nigeria (0.85mn tons).

However, Thailand boasted the second highest annual growth rate of 12.58%, second only to Colombia (14.19%), while government backed initiatives seek to perpetuate this trend.

“Krabi is already Thailand’s leading palm oil producer with nearly a million rai of palm oil plantations,” said Suban Raktong, a provincial agricultural promotion researcher in Krabi.

“However, the quality and quantity of our yields has suffered much, causing concern for competitiveness on the regional scale,” he added.

Mr Suban told the Phuket Gazette that Krabi is currently administering two separate budgets in order to improve its yield qualities and quantities, and thus increase its competitive advantage.

The first ongoing project focuses on improving palm oil quality.

“We are training and educating local agriculturalists on how to maximize yield quality while minimizing base costs.

With the project into its third year, 20 Palm oil community centers, and another 180 substations, have been established across the province.

“We’re teaching farmers how to properly record, monitor and analyze the various production factors, from the compost, soil and leaves to the most efficient extraction methods.

“Before this project began, our yield output efficiency rate was at about 14%, but now it has gone up to 18% and we expect it to continue to increase,” he said.

Mr Suban added that the project is utilizing a budget of 10mn baht for the 2012 fiscal year, and in its first two years utilized 13mn and 6.5mn baht, respectively.

The second palm oil development project is part of an AFTA development initiative backed by the central government to supplement new palm trees, soil, necessary chemicals and transport logistics.

Starting this year, the government is supporting the development of 30,000 rai over a three year period in five southern provinces: Krabi, Trang, Satun, Surat Thani and Chumphon.

In the first year, Krabi will receive a budget of about 10.9mn baht to develop 5,500 rai, while the remaining 4,500 rai in the quota are for plantations in the other four provinces, Mr Suban said.

Mr Suban went on to explain that many plantations in Krabi and the region produce substandard yields due to the trees being beyond their 15 to 20 year life cycle.

“With older trees that produce very low yields, it’s difficult and expensive for farmers to make a living, let alone a profit,” he said.

In addition to the two projects mentioned, the Gazette was recently told that another palm oil development project is expected to be proposed to Thai cabinet members when they meet in Phuket on March 19 and 20.

That project proposal will be related to the promotion, development and full integration of the palm oil production and supply chain.

— Steven Layne


Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

World27 mins ago

Europeans arrested in Iran

Thailand28 mins ago

Thai woman charged for selling fake discount vouchers

Crime46 mins ago

Expressway killer reveals 3 month plan to murder girlfriend in remorseless confession

Thailand2 hours ago

Prayut plans to contact citizens hit by power cuts via radio

Thailand2 hours ago

Submarine purchases could sink over engine debate

Guides2 hours ago

Best IB schools in Thailand

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Bangkok2 hours ago

VIDEO: Paramedics push patient through Bangkok floods on stretcher

Coronavirus (Covid-19)3 hours ago

Schools no longer need to close for Covid outbreaks

Thailand3 hours ago

Thai industries want to produce energy to combat rising costs

Crime3 hours ago

Clumsy burglar injures himself after trying to steal in Chon Buri

Thailand3 hours ago

Mountain B nightclub fire claims 24th life

Thailand4 hours ago

Thailand & Australia pledge to stamp out trafficking

Thailand4 hours ago

Jail Term for Carrying Crops & Repossessing the wrong house | GMT

Phuket4 hours ago

Girl sustains head injuries while surfing in Phuket

Press Room18 hours ago

Best island boat tours from Phuket – must-visit islands and unforgettable experiences you should not miss out on

Thailand1 year ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism2 years ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11